August 10-11, 2019: Another summer weekend, another beautiful weekend to get away to Ontario’s favourite small town. 🙂
Port Hope is a small town just an hour’s drive from the Greater Toronto Area that boasts the best preserved historic downtown area and many great spots for sightseeing, family friendly activities, restaurants and cafes, shopping, and scenic views. We took an easy weekend to enjoy what Port Hope had to offer. (We were invited on this weekend trip care of the Municipality of Port Hope.)
Have you ever seen the movie “It” before? Port Hope has six filming locations that you can visit which appear in Stephen King’s horror film! The soon-to-be released “It” chapter two was also filmed here!
We spent about an hour’s time looking for the filming locations and taking photos around the town. It was a fun scavenger hunt to find all the locations and take some fun photos! 😀
We enjoyed a casual lunch at one of the most popular bake shops in the town, Queenies Bake Shop (16 Walton Street, Port Hope, ON). While the indoor tables were all taken, we were lucky to find ourselves at the window seat with a great view of the downtown area.
We enjoyed the tomato soup, lasagna with greens, and the pulled pork on toasted white bread with greens. We had the caramel hot chocolate and raspberry passion iced tea for drinks. The food was solid in quality.
Unfortunately, we were so stuffed that we couldn’t even try any of their baked goods. Their butter tarts were already sold out since the morning! Queenies is definitely a lunch spot you want to check out when you are in Port Hope.
During the afternoon, we visited the Annual Arts Festival as part of the weekly Farmer’s Market Arts Festival in Memorial Park. This event celebrates art, agriculture, and community.
The Farmer’s festival itself is hosted every Saturday from May to the end of October. There was live singing on the stage, picnic tables for seating, and lots of local vendors and shops selling various fruits, vegetables, meats, honey, art, crafts, paintings, and more.
As part of the festival, there were free horse wagon rides from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We were lucky to catch the last wagon ride where we had a nice ride around the downtown area. The view was extra nice from up on the wagon!
We visited the East Beach, my first time visiting the beaches in Port Hope. We were lucky to be visiting on such a sunny and breezy summer’s day.
The east beach is sandy with a sizable playground area for children. They also have washrooms on the site. There is a nearby fish and chips restaurant as well. The waters lapping against the edge of the shore was so calming.
We visited the Toe Beans Cat Cafe (119 Peter St, Port Hope, ON) too! I had previously been there last month for the first time and it was such excitement to see the cat cafe successfully pass their 100th adoption.
At the time of this visit on August 10, they had successfully rehomed 111 cats! We enjoyed a cappuccino ice cream and raspberry lemon kombucha tea while we were there. It was a relaxing environment to enjoy a snack or drink and play with cats.
Dinner reservation were made for us at the Hotel Carlyle and Restaurant (86 John St, Port Hope, ON ). I had stayed at this beautiful historic hotel earlier last year when their restaurant was closed for renovations. It was a pleasure to return back this time to try their restaurant.
When we walked in for our dinner, we were given a choice to sit at one of their three dining rooms. I was immediately impressed with how each of the three dining rooms were so large and beautiful. I had to say ‘yes’ to the large open dining room though that was full of natural light and ceiling lights. It was one of the most gorgeous outdoor dining rooms I’ve dined in!
Their menu is extensive and features many appetizers for sharing, salads, burgers, and a lunch and dinner menu. Their drinks menu was very thorough and varied as well. We were still a tad full from lunch, so I had to say ‘no’ to the drinks that night (although I really wanted to try the beer flights). We ordered mostly appetizers to share with a salad and main dish.
We enjoyed the soup of the day (a chicken noodle tomato soup), mussels, lamb lollichops, lobster cheesebake, anchovy salad, and the crispy skin sea bass. The highlights for me were the refreshing and delicious salad (it had so many fresh shrimps), the tender lamb lollichops, and the comforting main dish. The sea bass had delicious sweet potato mash underneath the well-cooked sea bass.
We had to try the dessert too so we had the “pie of the day”, which was a butter tart. We also had a scoop of vanilla ice cream added to it (to my dining partner’s pleasure). We finished the meal with a large pot of green tea.
Our overnight accommodations were made at the Haute Goat residence.
I had previously been to Haute Goat (1166 5th line, Newtonville, ON) for the goat shmurgle and goat yoga, and it was once again such a pleasure to be back with the family. It was so nice to see Debbie again and be greeted warmly even though we checked in later than expected in the evening.
We were led into their home to the third floor where we had full use of the space. This included the three-piece bathroom, queen size bed, armchair and sofa arrangements, wifi, and filtered water. We had a very comfortable and peaceful stay here.
In the morning, we were greeted by Shain who had prepped and cooked a scrumptious healthy breakfast for us! There was a bowl of fresh strawberries and blueberries, vegetarian omelette, orange juice, milk, tangerines, bananas, and a big plate of bacon and home fries! We enjoyed a hot brew of tea too. What a great breakfast spread we had!
Once again, thank you so much to the Municipality of Port Hope for arranging and covering this overnight trip. We had a great time and can’t wait to be back in October!
FTC Disclaimer: Although the Municipality of Port Hope reached out and invited me to a complimentary visit to promote the businesses in Port Hope, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the Municipality or businesses.